it’s all in their head” or “you’re probably just stressed.” And as we’ve seen, prejudice doesn’t stop there, it’s furthered by racism, size...
No stranger to tackling hard conversations and polarizing topics, Blue Shield of California is taking a stand on this issue of gender bias in its latest campaign, Hear Me, developed in collaboration with agency partner Butler Shine Stern & Partners (BSSP). And what better way to shine a light on the issue than to hear stories from real women facing it each day -- including tennis champion and entrepreneur, Venus Williams.
The new spot that sits at the center of the campaign shows Venus and other women asking what it would take for them to be heard by medical professionals. Would they need to be more educated, dress differently, more or less assertive, thinner, older, white or just not a woman? Only if we listen, can we end gender bias in healthcare.
As a way to further illuminate these powerful stories, the team also produced longer-form “Behind the Stories” videos featuring Venus and two other women featured in the spot, chronicling times when they were ignored by their doctors that will live on the brand’s owned channels (website and YouTube). Venus tells the story of her emotional journey being diagnosed with auto-immune disease, Sjögren's Syndrome, and how having a clear diagnosis and doctors who listened changed her life. Teneisha shares her experience with being dismissed by her doctors who missed her ectopic pregnancy and how she had to rely on her gut to get the medical help she needed. Katie shares her struggle with Ovarian Cancer, and the doctors who repeatedly misdiagnosed and dismissed her pain.
Directed by Amandla Barakaand (who is known for her commercial work with brands like Target, American Express and Adidas) and brought to life with an all-female crew, the new campaign began airing today (9.20) on major broadcast and cable TV stations across CA, as well as Connected TV. The campaign also includes a social media extension, a partnership with the LA Times and various event appearances for Venus.
Venus Williams: “I am deeply passionate about prioritizing health and well-being, so joining the Blue Shield of California team on this campaign was an easy decision. I look forward to advocating on issues that I truly believe will not only uplift women, but also shed light on matters that affect entire families and communities. Unfortunately, many women – including myself – have felt dismissed, ignored, or even faced judgement when seeking answers about their health. It’s important that we speak up and let our stories be told. I’m grateful to have found answers around my health challenges and want to help other women do the same.”